It is not uncommon for most nativity sets to include shepherds and magi (wise men) along with Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus in the manger. But most scholars agree that the magi didn’t reach Jesus until possibly 16-20 months after his birth.
On their way to deliver the wonderful and expensive gifts to the young family, they met king Herod to get specific directions to Joseph’s house. Herod was unaware and angered that there was a new king in his kingdom. He sneakily asked the wise men to find and inform him of the whereabouts of the Christ child… so he could kill Him.
After visiting with Jesus’ family, the wise men were warned by God in a vision to not report back to king Herod. Matthew 2:12 says of the magi, “They returned to their own country by another route.”
In our lives we meet Jesus in different scenarios. Some seem to be more casual, as if we are going along with a friend. At other times, it is much more profound. Sometimes there is much effort, as well as personal cost involved in finding the Savior. I think about our own church expression. God is faithful to draw us into His presence, and there is a constant expectation that God will meet with us in this place… this gathering. We enter in offering our gifts and then experience life-changing worship.
But just as it is fair to expect God to move in us with transformational power, it is just as reasonable to expect the enemy to ambush us as we go back to our ‘normal’ life away from the spiritual sanctuary we find on Sunday morning. Frankly, the Devil doesn’t care how much we see of God during a holy hour of worship if it does not impact our daily walk.
Just as the magi were sent out a different way than the way they came, so also we are to leave differently after encountering Jesus. How will you enter 2016 differently than you entered 2015?
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.
My name is David, and I want to know God more, and help other people find Him.